Special needs children, teachers left stranded after cars towed from field trip

by: Rachel Stockman Updated:

ATLANTA - Dozens of special needs children and teachers were left stranded after a school-sponsored field trip.

A local shopping mall towed their cars, and then called the cops even after teachers said they got permission to park at the Discount Store lot on Headland Drive in southwest Atlanta.

"We have been doing this for six years. This bus has been coming here for six years, every year. Never had a problem," said parent Angela Cleveland.

The high school seniors with special needs were visiting Roosevelt Warm Springs and gathered at the mall parking lot to meet up and then get on the bus. About 10 parents left their cars at the lot.

When they arrived back from the trip, the parents and teachers found that their cars had been towed.

"He said he was going to watch over our cars. He didn't say anything about having our cars towed," said parent Patsy Summer Hour.

"It's $125 per car. We don't have any money. We are single parents, with disability kids," said Cleveland.

"They parked in the wrong place, and they got it towed, sign says no parking," a parking attendant told Channel 2's Rachel Stockman.

"But they had an agreement with the special need kids?" Stockman asked.

"There was no agreement," the parking attendant said.

When Stockman tried to get further information from the store manager, she was told to leave the property.

Atlanta police were called out after the store insisted that the remaining teachers and students who were waiting on rides leave the property.

"It is disturbing and it just doesn't make any sense because they are inconsiderate and unconcerned," Cleveland said.